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The exciting news is that the 1st Test is about to commence and Matt Wade has received his Baggy Green cap as the boys bowl first! Ricky Ponting handed him his cap.
Matt is Baggy Green cap #428.
Congratulations Matt. I hope you serve the cap with outstanding performances from behind the stumps and with the bat in hand for a long time.
|Always a mighty special moment. Well done Matt. © AFP|
Only three members of our current squad have played Test cricket in the West Indies (Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey) so even though Matt Wade is the debutant for the Test, he is not the only player entering the Test series with inexperience in this format at the elite level and unfamiliarity with the playing conditions. The factor of the unknown with our side could take the Windies slightly by surprise.
Australian Squad for the 1st Test:
Ed Cowan, David Warner, Shane Watson, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey, Matt Wade, Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus, Nathan Lyon.
It's a good squad - a squad that can win!
Batting is stocked up down to Peter Siddle, and with Shane Watson in the side we have an additional bowler alongside Ryano, Hilfy, Pedro and Nathan Lyon. There's always Clarkey, Huss and Warner as back up bowlers, but I am confident our front line men can do the damage.
Consistency in the top and middle order batting is vital so we don't have more of these dramatic collapses, which you simply cannot afford in the Caribbean! The collapse issues was something I recently read in Shane Watson's autobiography, which he did address in detail. It has also come up in analysis prior to this series at other websites.
Unlucky on James Pattinson to miss the starting XI, but I feel Ryano has had more cricket behind him prior to this series with the correct format. Given how the boys went in the warm-up game, it is fair to declare the experienced men came out with the goods and deserve selection. Plenty of swing is expected with the new ball so it's a good thing we've got the dynamic duo of Hilfy and Ryano, while Watto has the ability to reverse swing the ball at a later stage with the worn out ball.
Ricky Ponting has played 8 Tests in the Caribbean, scoring 1014 runs at an average of 78.00.
He has scored x5 centuries including a double century of 206 that I remmeber quite fondly, scored at Port of Spain, which was also the Test that current West Indian keeper Carlton Baugh made his debut.
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